JASEB expands mission, renames itself J-Sei and hires new executive director

BERKELEY, Calif. — Japanese American Services of the East Bay (JASEB) announced on Sept. 22 two major developments in its 39-year history.

Following a rebranding process, the agency has changed its name to J-Sei, to reflect the recent expansion of its mission. The agency said in a statement that it will “continue to serve seniors, but also broaden its reach to promote and impart Nikkei culture and values to families and the various generations in a changing community.”

The transition to J-Sei will take several months and is expected to be completed by early 2011.

One of the first programs to reflect the expanded mission is the Saturday Morning Series, in which J-Sei presents a series of panels, forums and discussions about issues facing the multigenerational and multicultural community. The next such event will be entitled “Sansei! Are You Prepared to Live to 100?,” and will be held on Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. at the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave. in Alameda, Calif. Panelists will include experts in the fields of gerontology, medicine, financial planning, legal/estate planning and housing.

New Executive Director

The agency also announced the hiring of Diane Wong, M.S.W. as its executive director. Wong grew up in San Francisco and graduated from UC Berkeley, where she received both her bachelor’s degree in social welfare and her master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on gerontology and agency management. She brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including being the first executive director of Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay.

Wong has also had extensive consulting experience where her assignments often involved issues of aging and program development.

“We are very excited that Diane has joined us at this critical juncture in our history,” Bruce A. Hironaka, board president, said in the statement. “We believe that she has the experience, compassion, leadership skills, and understanding of the community that we need as we broaden our reach in the community.

“We look forward to her leading the agency’s efforts to build a community institution that will effectively serve our ever changing community and an institution that we will be very proud of,” Hironaka added.

“I am very pleased to be joining J-Sei as its executive director and I look forward to working with the board, the staff and the community as we embark upon this exciting journey to expand our services,” Wong said.

For more information, call (510) 848-3560 or visit www.jaseb.org.

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